Remembering the Sheridan Troop as local National Guard troops prepare for deployment

Sixty-seven years ago, Tyrone residents gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue to show support and say their farewells to a group of men setting out to answer their country’s call. These men were a part of the Sheridan Troop, Troop B, 104th Cavalry.
Once again, residents will gather on Wednesday, September 24 as the 69 soldiers from Det. 1 Charlie Company 2-112th Infantry (STRYKER) march through town from the Tyrone Armory to Gray-Veterans Field where a short ceremony will take place. The following day, these local National Guard troops will be deployed for training and then to the Middle East.
Two years ago, four of the five surviving members of the Sheridan Troop were able to get together at the Tyrone Armory for a trip down memory lane as the 65th anniversary of their departure approached.
James W. Morrissey, Alexander J. Catich, Pete Spanelli and Bama Miller were happy to be together and share their stories, but they also remembered those friends who could not be with them.
The group was especially saddened by the passing of Clair G. Sharer, just weeks before their impromptu reunion of sorts.
Since their gathering two years ago, the men lost another friend with the passing of Aldus Shuey, who was unable to attend the previous gathering.
The Sheridan Troop’s journey 67 years ago began on January 14, 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed all federally recognized National Guard on active duty for military training for a period of one year. The order provided for prompt mobilization of all units involved.
Troop B was ordered into active federal military service on February 17, 1941.
In the early morning on March 1, 1941, the troops marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, amid the crowd of onlookers, making their way to the train station. There they boarded two coaches, one baggage car and three horse cars, taking all of their horses and equipment.
The men were on their way to the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation.
Of those soldiers who boarded the train that morning, four are still living.
As these four men looked at mementos and photos of the Sheridan troop, they remembered the march to the train station, their arrival at Indiantown Gap and then departing for Philadelphia where the group eventually was split up.
Morrissey described his 28 months overseas saying from Philadelphia he was sent to North Africa, Italy, France and Germany.
Spanelli served two years after leaving Philadelphia, spending time in India, Burma and China.
Miller was stationed on the European Theater of Operation for two and a half years after separating from the Sheridan Troop and Catich spent three months with the 303rd 8th Army Air Corp. in England.
The Troop B, 104th Cavalry roster as of March 1, 1941 listed: Captain Jesse L. Waite; first lieutenant Thomas J. Barnhart; first Lieutenant Warren McKinney; second Lieutenant Irvin F. Mitchell; second Lieutenant Harold L. Barr; Sergeants: Robert J. Charles, Albert L. Duey, David R. Lykens, Walter S. Ross, Elmer E. Sheriff, Samuel A. Steel and John H. Stroup; Corporals: James D. Isenberg, Chester L. Shaner, Stanley P. Sinlger, Clark F. Speece, Melvin J. Waite and Devon D. Winslow; Privates First Class: Jack P. Anderson, John W. Bayer, Jr., Sheridan R. Bland, Alexander J. Catich, John P. Duff, Paul E. Hughes, John W. Johnson, Robert V. Lucas, Edward R. Myers, Harold T. Oshell, William H. Phillips, William S. Shively, Reeder C. Singler, Calvin L. Stahl, Harry C. Steele and Guy E. Waite.
Privates listed included: James M. Ammerman, Thomas J. Barnhart, Jr., George M. Barner, Charles I. Baughman, William G. Bickel, Chalmer O. Burget, Guy E. Burkholder, Harry Cosentino, William W. Cramer, James S. Daughenbaugh, Richard F. Dean, Joseph B. Demko, Edward Dufour, Robert D. Eckroth, John E. Eschbach, Ivan P. Fleck, Clarence E. Frantz, John M. Gillman, Francis J. Hardy, Kendell E. Harpster, Clair Hinish, George A. Igou, Jack E. Irvin, Ralph D. Irvin, Harry E. Johnson and Earl L. Kaspick.
Also, Robert C. Keppler, Frank Kolinchak, James LaRosa, Andrew T. Lapinsky, Paul L. Little, Donald R. Lloyd, George Loner, Robert S. Lynn, Edwin S. Magill, Gerbert Markel, James C. McCulley, Talford D. McCaulley, Richard D. McCracken, Lloyd O. Michaels, Donald R. Miller, John R. Miller, Marion D. Miller, Gerald L. Miles, Edmund P. Moyer, James W. Morrissey, William M. Myers, Harold J. Nearhoof, Donald W. Oshell, Ray M. Oshell, Robert M. Parker, Harold O. Peters and William T. Potaris.
Also, James E. Price, Thomas T. Price, James C. Reed, Jr., Charles W. Renney, William F. Rodgers, Paul H. Rutherford, Clair G. Sharer, William E. Shoemaker, Aldus E. Shuey, Charles B. Snyder, Edward L. Snyder, Pete Spanelli, William G. Sponsler, Louis L. Stiner, Ryland G. Summers, Fred J. Tennis, Herbert E. Thomas, Martin S. Waite, Vernor Waite, Warren E. Way, William A. Wertz, Donald L. Westley, Richard L. Weston, Richard N. Williams, Herbert M. Williams, George H. Wolfe and Herbert E. Young.
Tyrone’s Sheridan Troop was organized on July 15, 1871.
According to “A History of The Sheridan Troop and Troop B Pennsylvania National Guard and Sheridan Troop Veterans Association Tyrone, Pennsylvania”, compiled in 1960-61 by Francis D. Beyer Sr., “Early in the summer of 1871 a group of men headed by Charles S. W. Jones of Tyrone began meetings to discuss the possibility of organizing a National Guard Cavalry troop in the Tyrone area.
“When the number of men in the Tyrone group reached twenty, they began a series of meetings, adopted the name Sheridan Troop, elected officers on a temporary basis, adopted resolutions to govern the group pending completion of organization.”
The troop remained a cavalry troop until late 1941 when the 104th cavalry was completely mechanized. All remaining horses returned to remount depots by the end of April 1942.
Just as the community supported those soldiers of the Sheridan Troop 67 years ago, this is a great opportunity for the Tyrone community to once again honor the soldiers of the National Guard.
It is already anticipated that hundreds of family members and others will be attending the parade and ceremony next Wednesday.
The soldiers depart from the Tyrone Armory at noon and the parade will travel down Tenth Street, onto Pennsylvania Avenue, onto 14th Street and 15th Street, then onto Hamilton Avenue and end at Gray-Veterans Field.
Once at the field, there will be a ceremony to honor the soldiers. All area veterans are asked to join in the ceremony by gathering at the entrance to field, off of Hamilton Avenue, at noon.
Following the parade and ceremony, a private luncheon will be held for the soldiers and their families at the Tyrone American Legion.

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